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Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter Deutschland Model EC135 Helicopters

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Eurocopter Deutschland (Eurocopter) Model EC135 helicopters with Turbomeca Arrius 2B1 engines installed. This action requires modifying the engine electrical control unit (FADEC) software and the collective linear transducer (LVDT). This amendment is prompted by a parameter discrepancy within the engine fuel main metering unit that is transmitted to the FADEC. This condition, if not corrected, could result in deactivation of the engine main fuel-metering valve, loss of automatic control of the affected engine, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

Effective June 14, 2002.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of June 14, 2002.

Comments for inclusion in the Rules Docket must be received on or before July 29, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2001-SW-69-AD, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. You may also send comments electronically to the Rules Docket at the following address: 9-asw-adcomments@faa.gov telephone (972) 641-3460, fax (972) 641-3527. The Turbomeca service information may be obtained from Turbomeca, DSO/T/NORIA Arrius 2 B1 TU 19C, 64 511 Bordes Cedex, France. This information may be examined at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Paul Madej, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Standards Staff, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0110, telephone (817) 222-5125, fax (817) 222-5961.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA), which is the airworthiness authority for the Federal Republic of Germany, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on Eurocopter Model EC135 helicopters. The LBA advises that installing modified engine-control software is necessary to sustain automatic engine control.

Eurocopter has issued Alert Service Bulletin No. EC135-71A-019, dated August 30, 2001, which specifies modifications to the FADEC software and modifications to the LVDTs. Turbomeca has issued Service Bulletin No. 319 73 2019, dated March 26, 2001, which provides instructions for replacing the FADEC, or alternatively modifying the FADEC software. The LBA classified these service bulletins as mandatory, and issued AD 2001-304/2, effective October 19, 2001, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters in the Federal Republic of Germany.

This helicopter model is manufactured in the Federal Republic of Germany and is type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.29 and the applicable bilateral agreement. Pursuant to the applicable bilateral agreement, the LBA has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the LBA, reviewed all available information, and determined that AD action is necessary for products of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States.

This unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of the same type design registered in the United States. Therefore, this AD is being issued to prevent deactivation of the engine main fuel-metering valve, loss of automatic control of the affected engine, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. This AD requires modifying the FADEC software and the LVDTs. The actions must be accomplished in accordance with the service bulletins described previously. The short compliance time involved is required because the previously described critical unsafe condition can adversely affect the engine power and controllability of the helicopter. Therefore, modifying the FADEC software and the LVDTs are required within 50 hours time-in-service, and this AD must be issued immediately.

Since a situation exists that requires the immediate adoption of this regulation, it is found that notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are impracticable, and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

The FAA estimates that 22 helicopters will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 10 work hours to accomplish the modifications, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. The manufacturer has stated that parts will be provided at no cost. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $13,200.

Comments Invited

Although this action is in the form of a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety and, thus, was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public comment, comments are invited on this rule. Interested persons are invited to comment on this rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Communications should identify the Rules Docket number and be submitted in triplicate to the address specified under the caption ADDRESSES. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments will be considered, and this rule may be amended in light of the comments received. Factual information that supports the commenter's ideas and Start Printed Page 37667suggestions is extremely helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of the AD action and determining whether additional rulemaking action would be needed.

Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the rule that might suggest a need to modify the rule. All comments submitted will be available in the Rules Docket for examination by interested persons. A report that summarizes each FAA-public contact concerned with the substance of this AD will be filed in the Rules Docket.

Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their mailed comments submitted in response to this rule must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. 2001-SW-69-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

The regulations adopted herein will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, it is determined that this final rule does not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

The FAA has determined that this regulation is an emergency regulation that must be issued immediately to correct an unsafe condition in aircraft, and that it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866. It has been determined further that this action involves an emergency regulation under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979). If it is determined that this emergency regulation otherwise would be significant under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures, a final regulatory evaluation will be prepared and placed in the Rules Docket. A copy of it, if filed, may be obtained from the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

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[Amended]
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2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding a new airworthiness directive to read as follows:

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2002-11-01 Eurocopter Deutschland: Amendment 39-12762. Docket No. 2001-SW-69-AD.

Applicability: Model EC135 helicopters with Turbomeca Arrius 2B1 engines installed, certificated in any category.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each helicopter identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been otherwise modified, altered, or repaired in the area subject to the requirements of this AD. For helicopters that have been modified, altered, or repaired so that the performance of the requirements of this AD is affected, the owner/operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance in accordance with paragraph (c) of this AD. The request should include an assessment of the effect of the modification, alteration, or repair on the unsafe condition addressed by this AD; and if the unsafe condition has not been eliminated, the request should include specific proposed actions to address it.

Compliance: Required within 50 hours time-in-service, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent deactivation of the engine main fuel-metering valve, an engine electrical control unit (FADEC) fail caution indication display to the pilot, loss of automatic control of the affected engine, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the following:

(a) Modify the FADEC software in accordance with the Operating Instructions, paragraph 2.B., of Turbomeca Service Bulletin No. 319 73 2019, dated March 26, 2001.

(b) Modify the collective linear transducers (LVDTs) in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.C., of Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin EC135-71A-019, dated August 30, 2001.

(c) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the compliance time that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used if approved by the Manager, Regulations Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA. Operators shall submit their requests through an FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may concur or comment and then send it to the Manager, Regulations Group.

Note 2:

Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the Regulations Group.

(d) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with 14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199 to operate the helicopter to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.

(e) The modifications shall be done in accordance with Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin No. EC135-71A-019, dated August 30, 2001, and Turbomeca Service Bulletin No. 319 73 2019, dated March 26, 2001. These incorporations by reference were approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained from American Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, Texas 75053-4005, telephone (972) 641-3460, fax (972) 641-3527; and Turbomeca, DSO/T/NORIA Arrius 2 B1 TU 19C, 64 511 Bordes Cedex, France. Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

(f) This amendment becomes effective on June 14, 2002.

Note 3:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (Federal Republic of Germany) AD 2001-304/2, dated October 19, 2001.

Start Signature

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 20, 2002.

David A. Downey,

Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-13290 Filed 5-29-02; 8:45 am]

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